General Terms and Conditions
1. Services, agreement
Language services (translating and interpreting) are merely services which we provide as members of the professions on a freelance basis. When an order is accepted, a contract for work and services in accordance with the provisions of the German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch) is formed between us and the client.
Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the resulting legal relationship is subject to our General Terms and Conditions, as below. The client’s terms of business and purchasing conditions do not apply. This is the case even if we do not expressly preclude their terms and conditions.
Our service consists of accurately rendering a given text in another language. We produce translations with the normal care and to the best of our knowledge and general understanding of the language, based on the meaning as we understand it. Normally, a translation can be expected to meet the same standards of quality as the source text. However, it does not have to surpass the quality of the source text. Specialist expressions and terms are translated in the generally accepted way, unless any special instructions or documents/glossaries are provided.
Unless otherwise agreed in writing, we produce all translations as drafts, i.e. as finished, usable pieces of writing that fundamentally correspond to the conventional usage of specialist language. The client is obligated to check that the translation is correct as regards content and facts. By special request, we will also bring the text to a publishable standard and proofread the proofs for an additional fee.
Interpreting is a means of conveying language verbally, e.g. at conferences, in negotiations, etc. An interpreter’s work does not just consist of reproducing what has been said word for word, but also involves conveying words spoken in passing, which are not recorded.
We have the right to be assisted or represented by third parties when carrying out the work assigned to us, unless otherwise expressly agreed. When selecting such parties, we only have to exercise the usual diligence. If translations by such parties are sent directly to the client without being checked by us to save time, at the client’s express request or with the client’s understanding, our warranty and liability will not apply. The same applies for works which do not meet the desired standard of quality due to time pressure on the client’s part, i.e. if the revisions and improvements required cannot be performed, hand-written corrections made during the proofreading of the original draft cannot be fully implemented or for other reasons on the client’s part that prevent works from being produced as normal. This is not grounds for a claim by the client for a price reduction.
2. Official certification
Unless instructions are given to the contrary, translations of official documents will be certified at a cost, so that they are accepted by the relevant authorities.
We accept no liability for the accurate rendering of names and addresses in handwritten documents. This also applies for illegible names and figures in civil status documents or other documents.
Our effective schedule of fees forms the basis of calculations for translation and interpreting assignments. It is part of the General Terms and Conditions. Interpreting services are charged at an hourly or daily rate (including journey times to and from the relevant location). Translation services are charged per line. The following text categories apply:
Simple texts: General correspondence and texts which do not contain any legal or technical expressions or other difficult specialist expressions.
Moderate texts: Specialist correspondence, official documents, specialist documents with legal, technical or scientific content.
Difficult texts: All specialist texts which involve at least two specialist fields; specialist texts with legal, scientific or technical content and a high level of difficulty; all medical texts; texts which are printed and must therefore be produced with special care (technical specifications), advertising and marketing material. We expressly reserve the right to decide the text category and degree of difficulty.
There is a minimum price equivalent to the fee for one hour (usually the fee for one day for conference interpreters) for interpreting services and the price for one normal line (50 characters, including spaces) for translation services; the minimum fee per assignment and language as stated in our effective schedule of fees always applies. Total fees for translation services of up to €60.00 (excluding VAT) may be invoiced without a breakdown by line. The statutory sales tax (VAT) is also charged in addition to the fee and any extra costs.
Interpreting services and translations are the intellectual property of the interpreter/translator and may only be recorded, printed, reproduced and/or published with the interpreter’s/translator’s consent. As a rule, the granting of copyright is subject to an additional fee. If intended for internal use, this additional fee may be waived.
4. Quotations and cost estimates
All quotations and cost estimates, particularly those given verbally, are non-binding and subject to change. Binding price quotations for translations always relate to the fee per line only, even if a total price is provided in relation to this and an estimated number of lines. The fee for interpreters provided in cost estimates is intended as a guideline only. The calculation of the fee will be based on the actual time spent. Verbal quotations, including those given by telephone, are not binding unless confirmed in writing.
5. Orders (assignments)
All assignments are undertaken in the order in which they are received (subject to the documents required being provided at the same time), and are usually only carried out during normal business and working hours. Urgent assignments which are undertaken outside of such business and working hours, if it is necessary to do so to meet a specific deadline desired by the client, are carried out for a special fee for overtime or night, Sunday or holiday work (express delivery surcharge).
The order must always be placed in writing. Normally, an assignment is deemed to have been accepted by us if we do not reject it immediately; specific order confirmation is therefore not required. We only provide written order confirmation on special request or in cases in which we consider it useful or necessary for specific reasons.
6. Lead times
All lead times for the completion of translations are always approximate, whether they are given in quotations, when the order is placed or at a later date, particularly for more extensive works or works delivered in multiple batches, for which the time required cannot be estimated precisely. Under no circumstances can we be held responsible for delivery which is delayed due to reasons beyond our control, e.g. relating to postage or third parties contracted by us, or as a result of force majeure or similar. The client may not derive claims for damages or price reductions from deadlines which they believe to be missed, even when the agreed fee includes an express delivery surcharge for services outside of normal business and working hours. This does not affect their statutory right to terminate the service contract.
Invoices for translation and interpreting services are payable immediately on receipt, but within 14 days from the invoice date at the latest. The amount payable is the grand total stated on the invoice, including VAT. Discounts will not be given. Any agreed quantity discounts will only be given if the invoice is paid on time. They will not be given if payment reminders must be issued and/or legal action must be taken.
Part invoices may be issued after work has commenced; these are payable on the dates stated above, independently of future or previous part invoices for the same service contract.
In special cases, such as in the case of first orders, payment may be required by cash in advance or payment on delivery.
In the case of contracts for translation services, our obligation is deemed to have been fulfilled when the translation is sent by post or electronically. Other types of delivery or delivery to an authorised person require special agreement. In such special cases, we fulfil our obligation by delivering the translation to the body or person specified by the client.
9. Withdrawal from the contract
Other than for good cause, an existing contract for work or services may be terminated by us without notice if we fear due to payment default or other circumstances that our fee will not be paid by the client or will not be paid in full or on time. Special notice is not required in this case. No damages claims may be made against us on these grounds.
In the event of termination of the contract by the client, the client is still obligated to pay the fee accrued up to the end of the contract based on the time spent, in accordance with the payment terms above. Our records alone are decisive for the time we have spent.
If the client terminates a contract for interpreting services, in addition to remuneration for the administration and preparation undertaken by that point they must pay adequate compensation for loss of earnings for the interpreter who was contracted but whose services were not required; together with the former remuneration mentioned above, this can amount to the entire fee if cancelled at short notice.
A rectification obligation cannot be established on the grounds of amendments or additions relating to facts, content or the target culture made by the client or third parties to the original text or our translation in the interim or at a later date. This applies in particular for the case of adaptation.
Other than for gross negligence and intent, we accept no liability, including for damage which the client may suffer by applying, using of or reproducing the works produced by us, particularly not for consequential damage.
Amendments or additions made by the client at a later date release us from any liability. No liability is accepted for errors in translations resulting from inaccurate or incomplete information provided by the client or resulting from erroneous source texts. Our liability is also excluded if the source text to be translated contains ambiguities, linguistic errors or equivocalities, or if parts of it are incomprehensible; in such cases, the translator will add a note. For this reason, every text should be produced in line with modern spelling and punctuation rules, and should only contain wording and terms which are clearly comprehensible (including for those outside the company) and unambiguous.
Liability for the loss of texts and documents provided to us due to circumstances out of our control such as burglary, theft, fire and water damage is expressly excluded.
If a claim for breach of copyright is made against us on the grounds of a a translation produced by us, the client is obligated to release us from liability in full.
We are not liable for damage caused by disruptions to our operations, particularly due to force majeure such as natural disasters and traffic disruptions, network and server errors, any other line and transmission disruptions and other disturbances which are out of our control. In such exceptional cases, we may withdraw from the contract, either wholly or partly. The same applies when we suspend or restrict our operations for good cause, particularly our online service, for a certain period of time, either wholly or partly. We are also not liable for damage caused by viruses. To avoid the risk of infection, we use anti-virus software and recommend that our clients do the same. In the case of deliveries in the form of a file, the client is responsible for performing a final check on the files and texts provided.
Damages claims made in this regard cannot be admitted.
13. Place of performance and court of jurisdiction
The place of performance for delivery and payment is Weilheim. The place of jurisdiction is Weilheim (District Court [Amtsgericht]) and Munich (Regional Court [Landgericht] II), unless otherwise required by law.